Thurles CBS progressed to the quarter-finals of the Munster Under-19A Post-Primary Schools Hurling Championship alongside Our Lady’s Templemore on Wednesday afternoon when Thurles CBS beat Nenagh CBS by three points at The Ragg and Our Lady’s got the better of Rochestown.
Dr Harty Cup - Munster Under-19A
Post-Primary Schools Hurling Championship
Thurles CBS 2-7 Nenagh CBS 1-7
Nenagh CBS battled gamely throughout this contest in absolutely atrocious conditions, but Thurles CBS proved the marginally more accomplished side and as a result topped group A of the Dr Harty Cup thanks to their 100% record - Thurles CBS set the pace in the group thanks to wins over John The Baptist Community School, Hospital (2-28 to 0-13) and St Colman’s, Fermoy (1-24 to 2-13).
St Colman's, Fermoy joined Thurles CBS in the quarter-finals thanks to their 0-15 to 0-6 win over Hospital. Ultimately, Nenagh CBS finished third in group A with the 2-8 to 0-19 loss suffered at the hands of St Colman’s proving their undoing despite earning a 3-16 to 0-10 opening day win over Hospital.
Meanwhile at Bansha Our Lady’s Templemore booked their place in the quarter-finals thanks to a 2-21 to 0-14 win over St Francis College (Rochestown, Cork). In their corresponding group C fixture Christian Brothers College (Cork) drew with Limerick’s Árdscoil Rís (0-13 each) meaning that CBC topped the group and Our Lady’s finished second.
Our Lady’s Templemore got off to a great start when beating Árdscoil Rís (Limerick) 4-20 to 3-17, but then lost to Christian Brothers College (0-11 to 2-14).
So, Thurles CBS topped group A and progress to the quarter-finals alongside second-placed St Colman’s (Fermoy). St Flannan’s (Ennis) won group B while De La Salle (Waterford) finished second, Christian Brothers College (Cork) won group C while Our Lady’s Templemore finished second and CBS Midleton won group D and will be accompanied in the quarter-finals by St Joseph’s (Tulla).
Seánie Kenneally and Colm Murray had fine games for Nenagh while Frank Hanafin, Kieran Costello, Jack Lee and Paddy Creedon were all outstanding for a Thurles CBS team which led 2-5 to 1-4 at the break. The Thurles CBS man of the match, however, had to be Kevin Hayes.
The key man in this contest for Nenagh CBS was Kian O’Kelly - the Kilruane forward is big, strong, especially good in the air and brave. And, given the conditions at The Ragg this contest appeared tailor-made for the MacDonagh’s man to have a huge impact. O’Kelly did notch an early goal, but thereafter Kevin Hayes did a brilliant job on O’Kelly. Time and time and time again Hayes used his head and dealt with the physically-imposing O’Kelly by denying him primary possession via a series of neat flicks. If Kian O’Kelly had been allowed to have a more significant impact on this clash the result may well have been different.
A frantic opening to this contest saw the sides trade goals in the third minute - Jack Lee did especially well to hold up a Nenagh CBS defender inside the opposition 21-yard line and Darren Flood benefitted significantly when the ball broke to the full-forward; the Moycarkey-Borris man buried a left-handed pull. Right from the resultant puck-out, however, Nenagh CBS responded when Kian O’Kelly raced through before burying a rousing goal (1-0 each).
Thurles CBS showed flashes of the smart hurling that we know this team are capable of between the ninth and 18th minutes when firing over four points without reply.
A Devon Ryan free set Thurles CBS on their way before Eoin Purcell intercepted a Nenagh CBS puck-out and landed a fine strike in the 11th minute.
The Thurles CBS forwards turned over a Nenagh CBS defender prior to a Paddy Creedon point in the 13th minute and, given the conditions, the quality of a Thurles CBS attacking move in the 16th minute deserved a goal - Keith Ryan and Darren Flood combined smartly to set up Paddy Creedon, but Nenagh CBS ‘keeper Rory Brislane advanced very smartly off his line to save.
In the 18th minute Kieran Costello drove out of his own half in eye-catching style and set-up Devon Ryan for a point which forced Thurles CBS four clear (1-4 to 1-0).
GET A GRIP
Nenagh CBS, however, got a grip on proceedings thereafter. Seánie Kenneally ploughed through some terrific work when moved to half-forward and played a key role in the 19th minute when Nenagh CBS forced a Thurles defender into an over-carry - Sam Madden converted the resultant free. Kenneally then dropped into his own half to win the resultant re-start, burst forward and fed Colm Murray who drilled over the score of the game off his left in the 20th minute.
Two minutes later Sam Madden converted a ’65 and Nenagh CBS came agonisingly close to scoring a second goal in the 23rd minute - Colm Murray picked out Kian O’Kelly who, in turn, set-up Conor McKelvey, but Jason O’Dwyer did well to deflect McKelvey’s rasper onto his left hand post.
Nenagh CBS were now growing in confidence and following a foul on Aaron Morgan Sam Madden landed a long-range free to tie the game in the 26th minute (1-4 each).
A recurring pattern to this contest was the ability of the Thurles CBS forwards to hold up the Nenagh CBS defenders in the tackle and force turnovers. Indeed, following one such instance in the 29th minute Devon Ryan (free) fired Thurles CBS back into the lead and then, in first half injury time, Thurles CBS struck for a second goal - Paddy Creedon’s effort at a point was spoiled, but the inside forward steadied himself and found the supporting run of Jack Leamy; the Golden-Kilfeacle man left his shot in the roof of the Nenagh CBS net and Thurles CBS led by a very significant four at the break (2-5 to 1-4).
Four minutes into the second half a Nenagh CBS defender was turned over once more, Paddy Creedon was fouled and Devon Ryan (free) left five between them.
Sam Madden opted to go for goal from a 21-yard in the 41st minute (saved) as Nenagh CBS valiantly tried to respond to the challenge posed and then with sixteen minutes to play Seán Phelan set up Seánie Kenneally for a neat left-handed point to leave four in it entering the final quarter (2-6 to 1-5).
Second half Nenagh CBS substitute Paul Seymour almost conjured a moment of real magic in the 47th minute when his ambitious effort at goal skidded narrowly wide with an unsighted Jason O’Dwyer reduced to the role of spectator before Kian O’Kelly belted over a free in the 53rd minute to reduce the deficit to just three (2-6 to 1-6).
With four minutes to play Nenagh CBS ‘keeper Rory Brislane landed a long-range free from well inside his own 65-yard line to close the gap to two, but an Eoin Purcell strike re-opened the three-point gap between the sides in the 56th minute and although Nenagh CBS tried hard to create a late goal-scoring opportunity Thurles CBS were reasonably good value for this three-point win.
Thurles CBS: Jason O’Dwyer, Martin Paul O’Dwyer, Frank Hanafin, James Armstrong, Ciarán Lloyd, Kevin Hayes, Kieran Costello, Keith Ryan, Jack Morrissey, Devon Ryan (0-4, 0-3 frees), Jack Leamy (1-0), Eoin Purcell (0-2), Paddy Creedon (0-1), Darren Flood (1-0), Jack Lee. Subs: (37th) Kieran Larkin for Jack Morrissey, (43rd) Stephen Ferncombe for Jack Lee, (55th) Luke Shanahan for Darren Flood, (59th) Ed Connolly for Jack Leamy.
Nenagh CBS: Rory Brislane (0-1, 0-1 free), Darragh Spillane, Paul McLoughlin, John O’Meara, Aaron Morgan, Brian Keating, Seán Phelan, Colm Murray (0-1), Michael Corcoran, Conor McKelvey, Conor Hennessy, Sam Madden (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ’65), Cian Griffin, Seánie Kenneally (0-1), Kian O’Kelly (1-1, 0-1 free). Subs: (35th) Stephen Mulvihill for Darragh Spillane, (35th) Paul Seymour for Cian Griffin, (50th) David Grace for Seánie Kenneally, (55th) Rory O’Donovan for Michael Corcoran, (56th) DJ McGrath for Aaron Morgan.
Referee: Tom Loughnane (Gortnahoe-Glengoole).
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